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Ask the Experts!

17 September 2008

“Do empty light sockets draw power without bulbs in them when I switch the lights on? Also is there any benefit to breaking the ghost light bulbs found on stereos and other electronics, I think they need to be on a power strip to turn them fully off, my husband thinks you can just break the bulb to end the power flow.” – Sydney

Good news!  Empty light sockets do not draw power without any light bulbs currently screwed in.  As far as the phantom load goes, just breaking the LED bulb doesn’t stop the constant draw of power. The LED is just a signal that power is being drawn, not the source of the power itself.  In order to fully and truly turn off the appliance, you should plug it into a power strip and then flick the power strip to “off.”

Answer provided by Neely Crane-Smith, Community Energy Coordinator at the Center for Energy and Environment.

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